Francis Joseph Cassavant is 18. He has just returned home from the Second World War, and he has no face. He does have a gun and a mission: to murder his childhood hero. Francis lost most of his face when he fell on a grenade in France. He received the Silver Star for bravery, but was it really an act of heroism? Now, having survived, he is looking for a man he once admired and respected, a man adored my many people, a man who also received a Silver Star for bravery. A man who destroyed Francis’s life.
On the court and on the field they are the world?s winners, exhibiting a natural grace and prowess their adoring fans can only dream about. Yet so often, off the field our sports heroes lose their perspective, their balance, and ultimately their place. In a work as timely as the latest fracas on the basketball court or the most recent drug-induced scandal in the dugout, Stanley H. Teitelbaum looks into the circumstances behind many star athletes? precipitous fall from grace. ø In his psychotherapy practice, Teitelbaum has worked extensively with professional athletes and sports agents?work he draws on here for insight into the psyche of sports figures and the off-the-field challenges they face. Considering both historical and current cases, he shows how, in many instances, the very factors that elevate athletes to superstardom contribute to their downfall. An evenhanded and honest look at athletes who have faltered, Teitelbaum?s work helps us see past our sports stars? exalted images into what those images?and their frailty?say about our society and ourselves.
This volume explores the relationship of hero to celebrity and the changing role of the hero in American culture. It establishes that the nature of hero and its function in society is a communication phenomenon, which has been and is being altered by the rapid advance of electronic media.
Beginning beneath the walls of Troy and culminating in 1930s Europe, a magisterial exploration of the nature of heroism in Western civilization. In this riveting and insightful cultural history, Lucy Hughes-Hallett brings to life eight exceptional men from history and myth to explore our timeless need for heroes. As she re-creates these extraordinary lives, Hughes-Hallett illuminates the attractions and dangers of hero worship. This is a fascinating book about dictatorship and democracy, seduction and mass hysteria, politics and culture, and the tensions between being good and being great. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Associate Professor in Classical Languages and Literature Bruno Currie
Author: Associate Professor in Classical Languages and Literature Bruno Currie
Publisher: Oxford Classical Monographs
Pindar and the Cult of Heroes combines a study of Greek culture and religion (hero cult) with a literary-critical study of Pindar's epinician poetry. It looks at hero cult generally, but focuses especially on heroization in the 5th century BC. There are individual chapters on the heroization of war dead, of athletes, and on the religious treatment of the living in the 5th century. Hero cult, Bruno Currie argues, could be anticipated, in different ways, in a person's lifetime. Epinician poetry too should be interpreted in the light of this cultural context; fundamentally, this genre explores the patron's religious status. The book features extensive studies of Pindar's Pythians 2, 3, 5, Isthmian 7, and Nemean 7.
Why, Theodore Ziolkowski wonders, does Western literature abound with figures who experience a crucial moment of uncertainty in their actions? In this highly original and engaging work, he explores the significance of these unlikely heroes for literature and history.From Aeneas—who wavered momentarily before plunging his sword into Turnus's chest—to Hamlet, Orestes, Parzival, Wallenstein, and others, including Kafka's Josef K., Ziolkowski demonstrates that characters' private uncertainty reveals a classic opposition of binary forces. He describes how Aeneas, for example, was forced to choose between the ancient code of blood vengeance and the new civic virtues of law and justice. Ziolkowski asserts that the indecision of the characters reflects the tensions that authors observed in their own societies. Drawing on the insights of Hegel and Freud, he analyzes the ways in which these tensions represent turning points in cultural history. In stark contrast to Aeneas, Josef K. temporized for a year before his executioners thrust a knife into his heart. For Ziolkowski, the centuries separating Virgil and Kafka are ones in which the notion of the hero was transformed almost to the point of total inversion. He sheds light on this transformation and a corresponding change in literary form.
Most of us are content to see ourselves as ordinary people—unique in ways, talented in others, but still among the ranks of ordinary mortals. Andrew Flescher probes our contented state by asking important questions: How should "ordinary" people respond when others need our help, whether the situation is a crisis, or something less? Do we have a responsibility, an obligation, to go that extra mile, to act above and beyond the call of duty? Or should we leave the braver responses to those who are somehow different than we are: better somehow, "heroes," or "saints?" Traditional approaches to ethics have suggested there is a sharp distinction between ordinary people and those called heroes and saints; between duties and acts of supererogation (going beyond the expected). Flescher seeks to undo these standard dichotomies by looking at the lives and actions of certain historical figures—Holocaust rescuers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, among others—who appear to be extraordinary but were, in fact, ordinary people. Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality shifts the way we regard ourselves in relationship to those we admire from afar—it asks us not only to admire, but to emulate as well—further, it challenges us to actively seek the acquisition of virtue as seen in the lives of heroes and saints, to learn from them, a dynamic aspect of ethical behavior that goes beyond the mere avoidance of wrongdoing. Andrew Flescher sets a stage where we need to think and act, calling us to lead lives of self-examination—even if that should sometimes provoke discomfort. He asks that we strive to emulate those we admire and therefore allow ourselves to grow morally, and spiritually. It is then that the individual develops a deeper altruistic sense of self—a state that allows us to respond as the heroes of our own lives, and therefore in the lives of others, when times and circumstance demand that of us.
These essays consider the way that heroes and the domestic spaces they defend have been represented in 20th and early 21st century popular forms, especially film, comic books and material culture. The authors work in various academic disciplines such as English, film studies, history and human geography, thus bringing a rich variety of theoretical vantage points to the reader in a single collection. Topics covered include Tales of Suspense, Captain America, gender and popular culture during World War II, Iron Man and the military-industrial complex, Batman, Xena: Warrior Princess, The Ring, Ridley Scott, and many others.